Music ensembles head to districts


Julia Schaller

The orchestra tunes their instruments as they begin their last rehearsal before a concert. Photo by Lauren Puckett
The orchestra tunes their instruments as they begin their last rehearsal before a concert. Photo by Lauren Puckett

After weeks of preparation, students from band, orchestra, and choir will all perform and be judged at the district music festival today. This music festival will then continue on Saturday with a district solo ensemble festival, where only students performing solos or ensembles will attend. The festival will be held in Mexico, Missouri.

Band director Steve Mathews has high hopes for the success of the performers, and said the ratings don’t matter a lot to him because the students are putting in time working towards a goal. Mathews said he is looking forward to the learning experience that they students get from performing.
“I think the students bring two things to Rock Bridge after the festival,” Mathews said. “They bring an individual experience, but then you always hope that by them working on solos and small ensembles, they’ll bring some abilities and things that they can bring back to the entire band program. They’ll develop better musicianship and technique, and then that will help just the Rock Bridge group overall. “ 

Under the direction of Mathews, senior Ben Bergstrom has participated in the event since sophomore year. Bergstrom said he’s not worried about the whole band performance tomorrow because Rock Bridge always receives the best results. 

“I don’t think this year will be much different from the past years,” Bergstrom said. “Rock Bridge always gets [rank] ones. All of the Rock Bridge ensembles always get the top scores. Even the symphonic bands and all the choirs. I guess I’m most nervous for my solo, so hopefully that goes well. I’ll be most excited just to get home because we play at like nine o’clock at night and I’ll just want to get home after that tomorrow. They always have Rock Bridge play last because we’re the best and no one wants to play after us. “ 

Like Bergstrom, junior Katie Wheeler will be performing in an ensemble for the competition on Saturday, but for voice. Wheeler also agreed with Bergstrom and said she expects RBHS to do well as a whole. Wheeler said this competition is not like most competitions where RBHS competes against different schools, it’s all about ranks and scores. 

“For Saturday, I’m really excited to see everyone else perform because I think that’s really interesting,” Wheeler said. “I like to see how many difference in voices and techniques people have. On Saturday, I have an ensemble competition, so I’m really nervous for that. We haven’t practiced very much because no one has times to get together, so I’m really nervous for that.  For tomorrow, it’s just nice to take a break.”

By Julia Schaller